Something for Everyone

September 12, 2022 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Uncategorized |

A Day on the Green, Spring, 2022 Omnivorous music fans thronged the tent at the Fumier Winery to enjoy the ne plus ultra in nuovo-Punk, Prog and Grunge. Wound Pump This hard-working Birmingham band, all of whom were expelled from art school, opened at the reasonably unpopular time of 4 am. Their set included “Get Two Free,” “Monkeypox Mary,” “Signing On,” “UB40 IS KRAP,” “Chilean Torture Chamber,” and a great cover of Wayne/Jayne County’s immortal “If You Don’t Want To F**k Me, F**k Off.” TVC particularly liked Pump’s snipe at the likes of Leonard Cohen and Patti Smith: “this old…

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Midsommar

July 1, 2022 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir. Ari Aster) (2019) Midsommar performs poorly on The Babadook Horror Movie Scale. Rather than dark mansions and creepy children, Aster has set his nastiness in sunny meadows (although it still looks cold) peopled by beatifically-smiling blond Swedes.  But the story is familiar.  Nice, naive, clean, modern-day American kids are blindsided by evil, sophisticated old-worlde types.  Maybe there’s witchcraft.  (See Henry James, add The Lottery, stir with Rosemary’s Baby).  While we’re at it, let’s get the rest of the obvious comparisons out of the way: The Wicker Man, Get Out, The Village and Hereditary (Aster’s previous feature). Our innocents, Christian…

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The Unlikely Murderer

A nice night in

(Dir. Charlotte Brandstrom and Simon Kaijser) (Netflix, 5 Episodes) Unlike another recent Netflix offering set in Sweden (Midsommar), the natives in The Unlikely Murderer are not beautiful; nor do they dance among the buttercups. Rather, these Swedes are generally jowly, live in flimsy brown apartments and are spared nothing by the close-ups of their pores and the 1980s fashions (did such a high proportion of Swedish women really suffer under mushroom haircuts?) The Unlikely Murderer is based on the true life assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme (Peter Viitanen), below, in the town of Täby, north of Stockholm.  After the…

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The Riddle of the Labyrinth (Margalit Fox)

“This is the true story of one of the most mesmerizing riddles in western history and, in particular, of the unsung woman who would very likely have solved it, had she only lived a little longer”, begins Fox’s telling of the decipherment of Linear B. As with so many of the early, imaginative theories of the meaning of the Linear B script, however, this is less accurate and more enticing than the truth. Alice Elizabeth Kober’s role in the solving of this mystery was overshadowed, but not ‘unsung’ as was Rosalind Franklin’s role in the decipherment of the structure of…

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Spiderhead

(Director Joseph Kosinski) (Netflix, 2022) Spiderhead, a 107 minute TV movie from a short story by George Saunders (see our review of Lincoln in the Bardo here) is a bit too long. About 100 minutes too long. Saunders kept the story short for a reason. It starts interestingly enough and maintains the tone of a Black Mirror episode throughout, (not a good Black Mirror episode though. Not like San [sob] Junipero [sob]). Steve Abnesti (A Hemsworth) is the governor (sort-of) of an island prison facility called “Spiderhead” (the name is not explained in the film and don’t bother Googling it,…

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